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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by P&JG from Scotland

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

1

A wonderful trip

Kenya between 2 Aug 2019 and 24 Aug 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was a slightly complicated three week trip, as we were organising the first two weeks privately, with our son who lives in Kenya, and then segueing this with a final "solo" week planned with Expert Africa. In fact, it became a bit of a hybrid arrangement and Expert Africa (Richard Trillo) was enormously helpful and flexible in assisting us to plan and book both parts of the whole trip.

We covered some 2,500 miles of travel in country (not including flights to/from UK), by road and internal flights, taking in Nairobi, the Aberdare National Park, Nanyuki, Mount Kenya National Park, El Karama Lodge in Laikipia, Sarara Camp in Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust, wild camping north of Archers Post, Buffalo Springs National Reserve, Shela on Lamu Island, Porini Lion Camp (Olare Motorogi Conservancy), Loldia House on Lake Naivasha, Lake Elmenteita and Lake Nakuru National Park.

Every part of the itinerary booked with Expert Africa went without a hitch and we felt thoroughly well looked after from beginning to end. We saw more wildlife than you could possibly imagine, including all of the so called "Big Five", met wonderful, friendly people and learned something of their lives and cultures. It has been a truly memorable trip and I would recommend Expert Africa to anyone who might be planning a similar experience.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

I really can't think of anything!"

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Sarara

Sarara

"Stunning location at Sarara Camp"

2 nights Arrived 8 Aug 2019
"We particularly came to Sarara because our son, who lives and works in Kenya, wanted us to include in our itinerary the more mountainous regions of Samburu and the Matthews Range. In this respect Sarara Camp certainly delivered.

The location is absolutely stunning and even without all the excitement of the game drives, bush walks and local visits, this would be a fabulous place simply to chill out and enjoy the views and the facilities of the camp. The staff were all incredibly attentive and friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them. Our guide, Robert, was particularly impressive, sharing with us his enormous knowledge of the wildlife, the flora and his Samburu cultural heritage in a most engaging, articulate and good humoured way.

Our visit coincided with the rare event of a local Samburu gathering for the ceremony of circumcision of the young men about to become warriors. In the evening we were honoured to be invited to witness the celebrations and dancing that followed the ceremony, during which Robert just seamlessly morphed from safari guide to Samburu warrior and joined in the dancing, with impressive expertise!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Porini Lion Camp

Porini Lion Camp

"Porini Lion Camp Lived up to its name"

3 nights Arrived 16 Aug 2019
"Porini Lion Camp lived up to its name both in terms of feeling like a proper camp (rather than a "lodge") and in view of the number of lions and other big cats we encountered, at surprisingly close quarters, during our stay.

Whilst the tents were perfectly comfortable, this is perhaps not a camp for those looking for somewhere merely to hang out and be pampered all day. The point of this place is to get out there and track down the animals and this we did at length and with some success. The camp staff were attentive and friendly and our driver (Bill) and guide (Little John) proved to be fountains of knowledge and information and very good company.

There is also now a very good "media tent", with ample charging facilities and internet access."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve

Safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve

"Maasai Mara National Reserve - what a circus!"

18 Aug 2019 • All-day excursion

The reason that we chose to stay at a private conservancy outside the Maasai Mara National Reserve is because I was worried that the Maasai Mara NR would be overrun with tourists, particularly at the time of the great migration which seems to have become an Instagram event for too many visitors. I would have been perfectly happy to avoid this spectacle, but a drive down to the Mara appeared to be the only programme on offer for our first day in camp, so against my better judgement we went along with it. Unfortunately it turned out to be an absolute low point in an otherwise wonderful three week itinerary and my worst expectations of the MM NR were exceeded by what occurred that day.

The closer we got to the Mara river and potential crossing points, the more the traffic of safari wagons built up, to the point where we became aware of other vehicles careering along at dangerous speeds on parallel tracks trying to race each other to the river bank. When we arrived it was quite obvious why they were behaving in this way, as we found both banks of the river were completely choked up with a grid lock of scores of vehicles containing hundreds of people. Vehicles were barging in front of each other to achieve a better view, blocking others out so that their occupants couldn't see anything and even, astonishingly, blocking the pathway for the herds of wildebeest and zebra trying to reach the river, the people seemingly completely oblivious to the needs of the very animals that they had come to observe!

As the wretched animals took their chance to cross the river the onlookers were shouting and cheering like a football crowd and whooping and laughing whenever any of the poor beasts were brutally consumed by the waiting crocodiles. I suspect that the feeding of Christians to the lions in the Colosseum of ancient Rome must have provided a similar experience. It was, frankly, a little sickening and it made me feel rather ashamed to be among the mob myself. Then, to add insult to injury, we had an unpleasant encounter with some National Reserve Rangers who, rather than controlling the mass overpopulation of tourists, seemed more intent on enforcing petty regulations and extracting money from hapless drivers and guides for apparent minor breaches of niggling Reserve rules. I think that the Maasai Mara National Reserve of Kenya has a major problem of tourist overpopulation, which it seriously needs to address, and it also needs to examine closely the conduct of its own rangers. I shall not be returning there.
Terrible
Loldia House

Loldia House

"Loldia House - a little gem on Lake Naivasha"

4 nights Arrived 19 Aug 2019
"We chose to stay at Loldia House for the last four nights at the end of a wonderfully exciting and interesting three week itinerary. We had already enjoyed weeks of energetic activity, including many game drives elsewhere, so we were really just looking for a few days of R&R in beautiful and relaxing surroundings. Loldia House perfectly fitted the bill.

We had privacy and seclusion in a cottage in the lovely, lakeside gardens. The main house provided all the comforts of a mature family home, with a pleasant drawing room for aperitifs and chat before dinner (make sure to look at the fascinating family album on the piano) and an elegant dining room for sociable dining each evening. Breakfast and lunch al fresco on the lawn outside. The staff were all wonderfully attentive and, during our visit, our host was the hugely knowledgeable Dave Richards, who seemingly knows everything there is to know about Africa's birds and wildlife and has written many books on the subject.

Our wonderful, calm and patient driver/guide Juma had a similarly encyclopaedic knowledge of birds and wildlife and is apparently blessed with telescopic vision, being able to spot tiny creatures during our several excursions locally and around Lake Naivasha. Juma also magicked up two first rate picnic lunches for us on our various outings. We did a final, long day drive north up to Lake Nakuru National Park in order to tick off the one remaining elusive character of the Big Five, and were rewarded by sightings of both white and black rhino.

The perfect end to a wonderful holiday!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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